The Energy Department and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on June 5 that Chicago, Illinois, is joining the Better Buildings Challenge, part of an initiative launched last year by President Obama to catalyze investment in commercial and industrial building energy upgrades and support new jobs across the country. As a partner in this national initiative, Chicago is committing to reduce energy use by 20% across nearly 24 million square feet of public and private building space within the next five years. The Better Buildings Challenge supports the Obama Administration’s blueprint for an economy built to last, reducing energy costs in buildings—which last year consumed more than 40% of all the energy used by the U.S. economy—while boosting U.S. competitiveness in the global clean energy race.
Chicago plans to upgrade 10 million square feet of city-owned buildings and nearly 14 million square feet of privately owned buildings that have partnered with the city. The City of Chicago and its partners will share their most successful energy-saving strategies and solutions so that others can follow. To date, more than 60 organizations are partnering with the Energy Department for the Better Buildings Challenge and have committed nearly $2 billion in energy efficiency financing to improve the energy efficiency of more than 1.6 billion square feet of building space and to reduce energy waste across more than 300 manufacturing facilities. See the DOE press release and theBetter Buildings Challenge website.